The Armadillo Aeronauts Ballooning and Breakfast Society

by Lloyd Cates 

Armadillo Ballooning and Breakfast Society

The AABBS was the first hot air balloon club in Central Texas. We started it in April 1978.

We bought a used balloon from a UT student named Wayne McMichael and formed a club. We had one balloon pilot, Jack Jewett. Some of the founding members were myself, Mary Orum, Jack Schmitt, Charles Fitzsimmons, Gail and Bob LockePat Mench, Perry Campbell, Erick Middleton

We named the balloon, "Murphy", and something was always going wrong. We were weathered out so many mornings, that we added breakfast to our name. Murphy was a 60,000 cu ft, one burner, Raven Rally. It had a wicker, fiberglass and aluminum gondolas.

We took the balloons to the nationals in Indianola and to a balloon race in Houston. Houston had a balloon club called the Houston Balloon Pilot's Association. Some of their pilots were Bill Murtorff, Sam Edwards, Austin Young, Al Muir, 

Jack, Erick, Mary, Lloyd, Pat and Perry
September 1979

Instructor Jack Jewett

Lloyd Cates

Perry Campbell 1981

After Jack and Mary left for Utah, we were just a bunch of student pilots with a balloon. Bill Murtorff and Randy Moon gave me some instruction. Gail took the balloon to New Mexico and got her pilot license first. Gail, Bob and I taught each other how to fly. We retired Murphy and also the club. 

In 1984, Bob, Gail and I and several others were founding members of the Central Texas Ballooning Association.